It's an odd thing that started up this week in Germany.
For five years....the public TV crowd (ARD, Channel One)....has had a particular view of eastern Germany, immigration, and suggestions at times of right-wing extremism (hint: racism).
I would suggest as early as 2015....the network had angered a fair segment of the east German viewers, and they had either taken an anti-ARD view, or turned the network off.
Well....shocking a sit sounds....ARD came out this week with it's editorial team and started a 'tour' to meet east Germans.
This week, it started in Mittweida, Saxony. Roughly 170 locals and students showed up to hear the commentary and offer criticism straight to the ARD insiders.
Why pick Mittweida? Well....in the last election....almost one-quarter of the votes were for AfD (the anti-immigration folks), and they probably don't have much of a positive view of ARD news.
Based on commentary...the news folks tried to sell their way of viewing things, and some in the audience suggested different views. To be honest, I doubt if the anti-ARD news crowd care to sit in some auditorium and hear the news crowd defense. These folks have made up their mind....they don't want the 'product'.
The one thing that the news folks did learn is that folks took it in a negative way when it was suggested that 'all' of east Germans were in a particular thought process (or anti-migrant). That theme....often used by the ARD team in 2014 and 2015....conveyed negativity.
The problem I see here is that it probably was mostly a university and intellectual crowd who showed up as the audience, and the ARD media folks have this positive feeling over their 'marketing strategy' and how things went in the crisis period.
It might be interesting to see if they make a trip to Koln, and if the locals want to share their feelings over how the December 31st 2015 riot event was covered by ARD (almost a week later), and how the news folks would defend themselves.
And I'll end it with this note....maybe if they'd done this tour in 2015 and taken their criticism then...you wouldn't have the AfD in such a strong position today.